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29 January 2021 Regional Variation in US Land Trust Capacities and Activities Related to Bird Conservation
Maeve Anderson, Amanda D. Rodewald, Ashley A. Dayer
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Abstract

Land trusts play an important role in private land conservation and afford some level of protection to 230,000 km2 of land across the United States. In this study, we explored the potential for land trusts to contribute meaningfully to bird conservation. Based on survey responses of 626 land trusts, we found substantial regional variation in conservation strategies, barriers, and habitats protected. Land trusts used easements rather than purchasing land (i.e., fee acquisition) most often in the West (50% easement vs. 25% fee) and least in the Northeast (38% vs. 45%). The types of habitats protected also varied in ways that tracked regional patterns in land use and land cover. Across regions, 31% (Northeast) to 63% (Southeast) of land trusts included a city within service areas, highlighting the role land trusts may play in curbing urban sprawl. Land trusts throughout the United States used similar information sources to guide conservation decisions, with bird conservation plans used most frequently in the West (63%) and least in the Northeast (32%). Although roughly half of land trusts engaged in bird monitoring activities, human and fiscal resources were barriers to 60% or more of land trusts in each region. Overall, our study suggests that land trusts have untapped potential to contribute meaningfully to bird conservation and can benefit from engaging with birdwatchers and bird-focused organizations, monitoring birds on their properties, and pursuing grant opportunities related to bird conservation.

Maeve Anderson, Amanda D. Rodewald, and Ashley A. Dayer "Regional Variation in US Land Trust Capacities and Activities Related to Bird Conservation," Natural Areas Journal 41(1), 39-46, (29 January 2021). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.041.0106
Published: 29 January 2021
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KEYWORDS
bird conservation
conservation
conservation easements
land trusts
private land
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